Kim Stemple’s Legacy – We are NEVER Finished – by Coach TaxSlayer – TriCoachGeorgia

TriCoachGeorgia is known for many things. These include the grim reaper, the horns up hand sign, nicknames of team members and many more. One thing people may not be aware of is the closeness of the team. When a member is in need, the team rallies around that member.

Recently, Kim Garrard Stemple passed away after a long battle with several diseases. While Kim was an honorary member, her mother, Judith, and son, Connor both are valued members of the team. A celebration of life was held on July 13th at Nellie’s Sports Bar in Washington DC and several members of the team went to support the family. The celebration consisted of stories about Kim, a New Orleans themed Second Line parade lead by a 5 piece brass band and a streaming video with pictures of Kim and her many friends. The outpouring of support showed by how many people attended the celebration.

One of Kim’s lasting legacies will be the charitable organization, We Finish Together. We Finish Together is an organization dedicated to collecting race medals, decorating them with messages of hope and donating them to people in need. Kim’s legacy will live on because of #WFT and TCGa’s support for Judith and Connor that continues today.

For more information on Kim, please click on this story from Runner’s World Magazine.
https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a20856808/woman-with-terminal-illness-runs-her-last-marathon/

 

Xterra Welcomed as Proud New Sponsor of TriCoachGeorgia

TCGa partners with Xterra Wetsuits for Value Option

 

Introduction

As the worst team in triathlon and endurance sports’ focus turns to 2018, the team continues to quickly grow against all odds and to cultivate relationships throughout the endurance sport industry. This rapidly developing team born in Georgia and with athletes throughout North America and Europe is pleased to announce another new sponsor with a great reputation in the industry. Reaper nation wants to welcome Xterra Wetsuits as the team of misfits’ newest sponsor.

Xterra Wetsuits and TriCoachGeorgia (TCGa) strive to have athletes be the best they can be and both work with athletes of all abilities. Both firms can be found throughout many social media platforms and rely on delivering value and results to help athletes be the best they can be. By doing so, both seem to attract a ton of new athletes while creating loyalty from their existing ones.

More on Xterra Wetsuits

Xterra Wetsuits was born in San Diego, the birthplace of triathlon. According to their website, with unparalleled design, they strive to offer the highest performing wetsuit at the best value in the industry. As a global leader in triathlon wetsuits, Xterra Wetsuits provide speed, comfort, durability and buoyancy for dedicated triathletes. When someone purchases a wetsuit from Xterra, he or she is getting it directly from them which means lower prices for their high performing triathlon wetsuits with quick, personalized, friendly and excellent customer service. Many of TCGa’s athletes are already using Xterra products.

Reap What You Sow

When you purchase your Xterra Wetsuit and when you join the Reapers of TriCoachGeorgia, you will get high quality items at a very good price. As part of the TCGa family athletes and team members receive 60% off wetsuits and 55% off inflatable paddleboards as well as discounts on other types of gear, fuel, supplements and more. As noted before, TCGa’s affiliations and sponsorship cover their athletes from head to toe in all three endurance disciplines.

Conclusion

The entire team at TCGa is excited to continue to show support for their high quality affiliates and sponsors, now including Xterra Wetsuits, as they enter the water for their multisport races. #DoYourJob and check out Xterra Wetsuits online to see the products they offer and look into TCGa for great coaching, support, camaraderie and results. The team would love to see you join them at their training camp, or become a team member or coached athlete. You, too, can suck like them while having fun, finishing strong, getting distance and time PR’s, and qualifying for big races!

Defunkify Welcomed as Proud New Sponsor of TriCoachGeorgia

The team with some of the best momentum in triathlon continues to grow and shine. TriCoachGeorgia.com has cultivated a number of affiliates and sponsors. It has been said that the team of misfits are covered from head to toe, but what should you do to get the funky smell out of exercise clothes. TriCoachGeorgia is pleased to announce our newest sponsor to help with the question, how can I get my clothes smelling better?

The team found the answer in the newest sponsor defunkify. Defunkify created revolutionary fabric-cleaning and deodorizing products to help solve this issue. Defunkify brought together a small group of scientists, inventors and chemists who were able to look closely at the fibers in clothes to understand what was happening with the clothes when we sweat. Through their relationship with the University of Oregon, the company had access to the most state of the art technology and tools and created this product. They tested their products on athlete’s clothes in Track Town USA. They were able to refine their products until they had the desired results.

Once again, the Reapers are fortunate. They have signed on with an outstanding company that will help them do their jobs at a reasonable price. If you want to know more about the team or defunkify, please reach out and you will be connected. Now #GetAfterIt so you can #ReapWhatYouSow.

Reapers can earn 20% off all products at defunkify.com (free shipping if order is over $25).

Reapers Covered from Head to Toe: Welcome Swiftwick as Sponsor! – TriCoachGeorgia

Introduction

The team with some of the best momentum in triathlon continues to grow and shine. TriCoachGeorgia.com has cultivated quite a cadre of affiliates and sponsors. Along with their own coffee beans from JitteryJoes.com and beer from Southern Brewing Company, which perhaps no other triathlon teams have, it has been said that the misfits are now covered head to toe. In addition to things like fuels, electrolyte replacements, car magnets and decals, sunglasses and the like, they have triathlon suits from multiple providers, swim caps, athletic and casual team wear, a variety of headgear options, race belts, towels, temporary tattoos, cups, etc. Now they have a socks covered!

The nice aspect of the affiliates and sponsors is the great deals offered to team members, coached athletes, and the #TriKidsGeorgia. But even better yet, these are not your everyday schlubs; these are sponsors and affiliates that have integrity, are well respected, and stand behind their products.

Triathlete Socks are Very Important

Given the advent of specially designed sockless shoes, one can make the case that socks are not that important on short course triathlon; however, they are viewed as essential in long course triathlon. They are needed to wick moisture and to help prevent blistering, which can ruin a race if missed like it did for Coach Slayer’s Ironman Kona 2016 run. Moreover, the demands of the Southeast and other hot humid areas the Reapers train in, requires good socks to avoid feet skin problems.

Bring on Swiftwick

The team is proud to have gained team affiliate status with Brentwood, Tennessee’s Swiftwick.com socks. Swiftwick, like the Reapers, is a team of athletes who share common core values. One of the foremost values, is to craft the best socks possible. They make durable products that they are proud to represent and will defend. Swiftwick even designs socks for everyone including those that have physical special needs of some sort.

USA USA USA!

The Reapers are also thankful when an affiliate supports the good old USA. Swiftwick crafts all their socks in the USA using domestically sourced materials. In doing so, they have made a commitment to protecting the natural environment as much as possible. Their guarantee is unrivaled. If you are unsatisfied with any of their products, they will gladly work to sort you out.

Wide Range

Have a look at their website and you will see, like the Reapers again, a wide variety of offerings. From the length of the sock to the colors offered, to the level of compression, Swiftwick has options to cover everyone. They are easy to order and the socks are categorized by sport, product lines, cushioning, the firmness of the compression. They have well written blogs that help you understand their mission and their offerings. All told, it’s a can’t miss affiliation.

Conclusion

Once again, the Reapers are fortunate. They have signed on with an outstanding company that will help them do their jobs at a reasonable price, high quality workmanship, and a solid guarantee that will benefit their countrymen. If you want to know more about the team or Swiftwick, please reach out and you will be connected. Now #GetAfterIt so you can #ReapWhatYouSow.

Reaper Roasts Emerge, Dark and Light! – TriCoachGeorgia

TriCoachGeorgia Continues Their Progress

www.TriCoachGeorgia.com is a triathlon team based in Athens, Georgia, and other areas of Georgia and South Carolina, with athletes as far as England, Oklahoma, and California. The Reapers, as they are referred to, are also called a bunch of misfits because of their wide range of athletes. However they all share core principles of not quitting when the going is rough, consistent efforts, lots of socializing and laughs, and service to their communities and sport.

Jittery Joe’s Joins Forces with the Reapers For The Kids #FTK

This latter aspect is shared with the good folks at Jittery Joe’s Coffee, who love to give back. By developing and purchasing special roasted beans from the Jittery Joe’s Roaster, you have helped to support the free youth-based triathlon team, TriKidsGeorgia. TriCoachGeorgia focuses on coaching this youth team to develop healthy multisport lifestyles all year long at no cost to their families.

Dark and Light Options

According to the Jittery Joe’s Coffee website, there is a reason for their success. This lies in the fact that, although their “hands on approach to roasting coffee may take more time, (they) think your taste buds will appreciate the effort.” They also “believe that their extensive roasting know-how, combined with the freshness and superior quality of our beans, will ultimately provide you with the best cup of coffee out there.

To come up with a palatable yet distinct flavor for the Reaper Roasts, the team leaned heavily on Jittery Joe’s master roaster, Charlie Mustard. He decided on a popular blend for the Light version similar to the medium house blend. This one has more caffeine content than the Dark. For the Dark version, which has more robust flavor, Charlie tweaked the brand’s popular French Roast with some subtle flavors.

Art Work

As you can see by the cans, the art work on the front and back is unique too. Designer of the popular TriCoachGeorgia.com website, Flynn Kaplan of DoggHouse Productions, put together some knockout designs that are sure to be collectibles and great for display.

Conclusion

Like a good cup of coffee, this exquisite and affordable product, which is purely made for the kids’ (and your) benefit, is warmly received. The TriKidsGeorgia will benefit in a variety of ways and the team hopes that you will place many orders over time.

#DoYourJob and send paypal for 15$ per can or 2 for 28$ to trikidsgeorgia@gmail.com specifying if you want Light or Dark and your mailing address if shipping is needed. Larger orders can be accommodated as well. Shipping is 5$ per can additional if you can not pick up in Athens or have it dropped off.

Tri Bike Transport Welcomed as New Affiliate – TriCoachGeorgia

Triathlons are Worldwide

Tri Coach Georgia athletes travel far to race. The team has had some athletes go to race in France, Hawaii, California, Cozumel, etc. this year. They don’t always want to fly with their bike or ship it and not be sure that it’s safe.

The Solution is Here

Have you ever wondered how you would get your triathlon bike safely to an out of town race? The founder of Tri Bike Transport (TBT) wondered that too. In the summer of 2004, Marc Lauzon, the founder of TBT travelled from California to Idaho for Ironman Coeur D’Alene. He rented a truck and drove his bike and others to the race. With this first trip, TBT was born. TBT now delivers bikes safely and conveniently to more than 80 triathlons throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Reapers Welcome TBT

In December, Tri Bike Transport became the newest sponsor of Tri Coach Georgia. The team is part of TBT’s Social Media Sponsorship which entitles team members to receive a discount on shipping your fully assembled bike to your destination race. TBT provides the Reapers and others with dependable and safe transportation of one your most prized possessions.

Conclusion

The entire crew at TriCoachGeorgia is very excited to be associated with Tri Bike Transport. The team hopes the connection with TBT will encourage others to use the services of TBT. TBT offers all TCGa athletes and team members $25 off a fully assembled bike transport. The team will provide coaches, team members, and coached athletes with a promo code upon team membership. Happy trails and #DoYourJob!

Slayer’s Ironman World Championship at Kona: Getting High (and Low Lights) – TriCoachGeorgia

Introduction

Qualifying in October last year was the performance of a lifetime and it delivered a qualifying slot to the Ironman World Championship in Kona! This was the trip of a lifetime. The reward for a great race that followed many hard years of endless yards and miles. Or was it punishment for being self-interested and passionately shooting for a dream goal that most will never achieve?  Despite a year to prepare, I was still going to have to contend with the course that produces the second slowest results on the ironman circuit even though it’s not the most challenging topography. What was I getting myself into?

Give Them What They Want

You want the inside story. Admit it. You want my secrets like if I crapped myself during the race (negative but I did pee on myself a few times), was I emotional at any point(s) (yes but more on the fear and frustrated side than happy/sad side), does she still love me after all this hell (debatable but may depend on the phase of the moon more than the actual training), and how much alcohol I consumed the night before the race (one bottle of nice Justin California Cabernet Sauvignon but over a few hours. Hey, anti-oxidants are healthy right!?)

Not What They Don’t Want

You don’t care about my heat adaptation process, my fueling, hydration, electrolyte and caffeine plans, my pace and power metrics, my placement overall and in age group (unless you’re a hater who wants to show the world I suck and didn’t deserve to be there, or a data geek and there are many of you out there but you can private message me for that information).

I don’t want another boring race report floating out there.  So here are my highlights and lowlights from Ironman World Championship on the Big Island of Kona in Hawaii. My apologies if I forgot to mention you or if I left something funny out.

Highlights and Lowlights

Highlight 1. THE RACE!

From the rock star treatment throughout the entire race-cation and amazing festivities like the Underpants RunPath 5k/10k, which DocSlay podiumed on, and Hoala Ironman Training Swim and pre-race activities beforehand, to the helicopters blaring overhead and the cannon blast to start From the tropical fish swimming beneath our feet during the swim, to the expansive lava fields and breathtaking ocean views on the bike, to the amazing adoring crowds and views of top professional triathletes dueling it out on the run, this event was everything I was hoping for and more!

Lowlight 1. THE RACE!

The theme of the day was ‘be aggressive”. For everyone else but me. I just wanted to ensure I finished my one and maybe only Kona and soaked it all in! Maybe next time, I will go for a more aggressive and faster race. This put me at odds with the field right off the bat. In contrast to my usual balls to the falls approach, I began the race defensively as noted in my pre-race Facebook post and it only got worse as the day wore on.

My race nearly ended within the first 5 minutes of the 2.4 mile swim as I got pummeled like a mouse in a hungry lion’s cage. A relative newcomer to swimming without a wetsuit for the first time at the distance, I was struggling to catch my breath and getting swam over and clobbered on the back of my head multiple times by aggressive swimmers. This sent my heart rate through the roof and it took about 10 minutes of swimming head above the water to settle down and find a rhythm. Thankfully, I got out in time and immediately saw the team on the balcony overlooking the swim exit and I didn’t DNF (did not finish) given my state of panic. However, that wasn’t the only aggressive part.

Once I was on the bike for the 112 mile ride, I was confronted with the most aggressive referees I have ever seen (and I have served as an aggressive one myself so maybe it was #karma!). I am not complaining as they did their jobs but it was humiliating as a referee to get nailed myself. In fact, I got nailed for my first dreaded drafting call early (5 minutes in the penalty tent) for not keeping my focus and pulling over to the center to make a pass of a group of elite women. However, for whatever reason (probably got distracted), I failed to complete the pass within the required 25 seconds. So, while not gaining any drafting benefit, I did violate the letter of the rule and deserved some penalty time with a full penalty tent of fellow transgressors! There were about a dozen in the tent with me and a volunteer who jokingly took a selfie with me, but I took it as a chance to get a nice little rest on the early part of the bike post-long-swim.

One penalty is too many and equaled the amount of times I was penalized in my entire Ironman life. However, that was not the end of that aspect of this lowlight. I actually got another in a similar vein in the mid 90 mile range on an uphill with fierce headwind and me out of the saddle.

This 2nd penalty (along with another 5 minutes in another full penalty tent) put me precariously close to the dreaded DQ (disqualification) for three infractions so I was forced to soft pedal the final 15 miles or so to avoid any possibility of not getting my medal! I believe my split for the final section of the bike was 13 miles per hour when I probably have never had a bike split below 20 miles per hour in any of the other half or full ironman races I have done. All of this may have cost me another 20-30 minutes plus a lot of unwarranted aggravation.

This aggression also included natural elements of wind and sunny heat.  The aforementioned headwinds along with crosswinds were by far the most aggressive I had ever ridden in. I watched lighter riders being blown off their bikes and being shifted on the road. Some smaller athletes were pulling off the road to eat and drink as they couldn’t take their hands off their handlebars, to do so without potentially crashing. During the bike and run, the sun and heat radiating off the black top and lava was like an oven baking us. That’s all fine and dandy when you’re not doing an ironman but they add to the difficulty of this long grueling event.

Highlight 2. Friends and teammates on course!

Having my close buddy, athlete and fellow coach Wes Hargrove aka Coach Taz racing with me was just amazing. We got to share the stress throughout the build, march into battle together, and encourage each other on course when we started the swim and passed each other on the bike and run. There was my all-time ultimate favorite Sherpa, Julie aka DocSlay to make sure I was ok on all fronts, which was no easy feat between my mood swings, magnified ironman anxiety, and medical complications of late.

There were some other misfits and Reapers of the highest order including the Taxes, Seth and Becky Waltman aka Coach TaxSlayer and Tax Dr., Chuck aka Coach BAMF and his wife Beatriz Sims, Kim Hargrove aka Coach Kim Possible, We also had Viper aka Steve Smith, our team photographer and videographer and IronMouse aka Amy Smith, who volunteered nearly all day catching sweaty near death athletes including me when my leg cramped after my infamous bottle smash at the finish line. They are both of #TeamTagg. Also from the team, was the Millers including Jarhead aka James and his mother Theresa Miller, who raced strong herself, and our new friends, the super cool couple, Alex Baggett and Angie Norrell.

It was awesome to also see many others we knew and really liked like the generous and wise Hauschildt‘s (Melissa and Jared), the Kinmartins, Izumi Z. (who got married in Kona the day after she crossed not too far behind me), Bea, Betty, Thomas, and all the greenies of my former team Dynamo Multisport, etc., These folks made all the difference to us on the lead up to and on the day. It helped me immensely to keep a positive mental attitude in the tough conditions.

LowLight 2. No Socks!

You never know how much the little things mean until you do ironman. Then you learn that these little things are more important than you can imagine. Due to some more forgetfulness on my behalf and some other foul ups like trying to swap socks to my run bag late in the game because of the sopping wet floors in the changing tents, I went out on the bike sockless and preceded to get a severe sunburn on the tops of my exposed feet. Then onto the 26.2 mile run, with the sunburnt and already blistered feet, I made things far worse in the soaking wet shoes. Obviously, this was my biggest error. I’ve never experienced such pain as feet pain and I am not quite the masochist I appear to be. I won’t go as far to say it was as bad as natural childbirth, but, damn, I have never suffered so much as I did from blistering and sunburn feet as I did on race day. I know, suck it up Slayer.

Highlight 3. 2 Week Vacation!

Admittedly, I was desperate for my kids to be there with us when I crossed but school was still in session so that made it a no go for them. Thankfully their grandparents came in to look after them while we traveled. Regardless, who goes on vacation to paradise (except for the dastardly aspects of the race) in Kona for a week before and Oahu at Turtle Bay Resort with some of their closest friends in September? Generally, never us. Enough said but I have to mention the joint massage on the beach cabana with DocSlay, several meals at the amazing Jackie Rey’s restaurant owned by Athens’ Real Estate Guru Reign Streiter’s brother in Kona, the umbrella drinks and great bartenders Eddie and Dennis at the pool bar at Turtle Bay, and the fresh fish (aka Poke Bowl).

Lowlight 3.   Tourist Helicopter Rides.

Somehow, of the four of us riding, I drew the most dangerous open door front passenger seat in the PI Magnum helicopter ride we attended while at Turtle Bay Resort. Within a couple minutes, with my right butt cheek half out 1000+ feet in the air and a lot of turbulence, I had enough. However, we had 50 minutes to go and I could barely breathe, let alone talk. Thankfully, the pilot asked me how I was doing while I was white knuckling the oh s**t strap and turning white as a ghost myself. DocSlay helped me to communicate I was not having fun and he took me back early for the walk of shame which I am sure Steve Smith aka Viper or  Amy Smith aka IronMouse captured on film.

Highlight 4. Slayer Video Productions.

With the help of DocSlay and Coach Taz, some of those videos were some of my/our best mass communications work ever. Ok, maybe that overstates it but they didn’t suck and they drew some laughter and praise despite the complete amateurish and sophomoric nature of them. I have to give thanks to Chance Regina of Fusion Sports US, Micah Morlock of Georgia Cycle Sports, which deals my favorite brands like Specialized, Lee Stansell of TifosiOptics, Jason Williamson of Orr Carbon wheels, Varun Sriram of Generation Ucan, and Crisp McDonald Owner/Race Director for Go Race Productions for the encouragement and guidance on these funny videos and support throughout the year.

Lowlight 4. Some of the Things were Letdowns.

I hate to be a downer but not all was as it seemed on social media. Although I heard so much good about Lava Java and Kona coffee, I found it hard to find a great cup of coffee except for on our Greenwell Farms coffee tour and at a Frenchman’s Café near Holy Donuts in Kona. In actual fact, the food in general wasn’t all that special to me except for some spots like Jackie Rey’s, the food truck stops in North Shore of Oahu, and some fish and poke spots. The Luau we went to later in our stay felt like some trumped up pseudo religious cult experience and wasn’t as authentic as I had hoped. I expected to be at a pig picking and it was a big Disney-like production complete with long queues to get in and long waits to get to the mediocre buffet.

Another huge letdown was not being able to keep up with all the positive messages coming in from the mainland. Y’all crushed my PM, text app, FB, IG, twitter, and email!

Highlight 5. I got my medal!

The ironman monkey on your back that grows into a gorilla by the time of the race is gone. It can become a burden especially in the case of such a unique and big opportunity. With my medical issues there was some doubt if I would even race again and it would ever happen, and it finally did! What a relief…

Lowlight 5. Ambiguity.

With such a singular focus for the better part of the last decade, I am now suddenly left without a clear target even though I have a few good ideas. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing per se as it allows me time to refocus on what’s important. However, for me, getting there and finishing was the challenge. Now I need to figure out what’s next apart from enjoying my family and doing better with coaching and at my office.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Maybe this isn’t the race report the data geeks wanted but it’s the highs and lows of my day in the sun, heat, wind, hills, and aggression of the racers and referees. There’s a little taste of the behind the scenes.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I couldn’t have done it without your support whether you are near or far, family, friend, or acquaintance, etc. Folks like Angela and Reuben Adams, Kirk Smith, Kim Stemple of #WeFinishTogether, Ryan Marsh, who trained a lot with me, and each and everyone of my athletes and supporters.

I wanted you to see what the “real” elite athletes may not show you. I wanted Kona to be accessible and less intimidating. I wanted to provide an insider’s view from a regular former fat joe who made it to the top of the mountain for a brief moment.

I sure hope you will someday be able to go watch if you can’t compete. I also deeply wish that you can capture your moment and see that it’s not all good but that the good far outweighs the bad. Thank you for following along during this aspect of my life, your life.

Hit me up if you want more of the nitty gritty details or to be a part of the squad. We would love to have you join the fray! This year and event has only brought so many of us closer. From the youth of TriKidsGeorgia to the merry band of misfits aka the Reapers and all our families, there’s genuine unity that you can’t understand unless you are a part of it.

Your Race Pace Lies – the Phantom Speaks – TriCoachGeorgia

Introduction

We have a relatively newer athlete from Raleigh, North Carolina area who goes by the nickname of Phantom. Scott Whalen stays below the radar and gets the training done with a busy job and active family. He’s a veteran of the long course game and approached Coach Slayer several times over the years to discuss various triathlon concepts finally pulling the trigger on coaching services in 2016 for A races of Ironman Augusta and Ironman North Carolina 70.3. He’s also raced Lake Logan International Distance and Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 this year. Phantom has been rocking along with the new coaching approach and feeling happy, building momentum, and showing renewed confidence. He had a much slower race in Augusta this year than previous years but was happier than ever. Read why below:

The Phantom Speaks

Hey guys I am new to the team and a lot of you may not really know me yet.  Coach Slayer took me on as an athlete in June of this year and I completed my first big race under him last weekend at Augusta 70.3.  It was my 4th time racing that course and my previous best time was 5 hr 10 min.  I had a goal of breaking 5 hrs this year and came into the weeks leading into the race feeling confident I could do that or at least break 5 hr 10 min.

Race Conditions Soured

As you all know, as race day got closer, it looked like the weather may be less than ideal for racing or getting a personal record (PR) but I was still hopeful. However, the day before it was clear it was going to be brutally hot so Coach Slayer and I decided to revise our game plan for the day to adapt to the things we couldn’t control.

Then on race morning it was non-wetsuit legal for the first time ever which for me was not ideal since swimming is my weakest discipline. But, hey, you can only control what you can control that day was doing my job with the conditions at hand.

We Adjusted

We decided to toss out our pacing goal on the run and go by feel as well as walking the aid stations to hydrate and get ice (I usually don’t walk aid stations).  He told me that if I keep moving that I will pass a lot of people that will be walking like Zombies and I will continue to move up despite what is likely to be a slower pace on my run.

I followed the revised plan to adjust my race pace to the conditions and my expectations for a certain time accordingly. As usual, Coach Slayer was right and I continually climbed up in the rankings all day from 137th on the swim to 70th off the bike to 31st after the run.

How It Ended Up

So did I PR?  No on the overall race time but the answer to me was an unequivocal Yes! It was my highest placement in an Ironman branded event by over 15 positions on my fastest time and 36 positions over Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 in May this year.

The moral is that it is not always about race paces or overall time but rather how you compete against other age group athletes, how you express your coaching or wisdom, and how you perform in the conditions and the day you were given.  I could have been devastated that I missed my time goal by 25 minutes but instead I am stoked to have done so well on that course, under those conditions on that day!  Thanks again to all the TriCoachGeorgia athletes, Sherpas, and coaches and especially to Coach Slayer as you all are a true inspiration and motivation to me.

SBR SPORTS Welcomed as Proud New Sponsor of TriCoachGeorgia

INTRO

As triathletes we focus on the primary, tangible pieces of equipment we need to perform at our best. Things like our bikes, shoes, helmets, and other apparel. And then there’s SBR Sports This company put its primary focus on many of the intangibles we don’t always think about, but are very important in making your training and racing a success. Which is why TriCoachGeorgia reached out to SBR Sports.

TRISWIM

Separate shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion.  Unlike our resident TCGa Coaches Slayer, BAMF, and TaxSlayer, those of you still donning a quaff on your lid will love the shampoo and conditioner.  Great for shampooing after your pool swims to remove chlorine and chlorine odor, hydrates, and moisturizes.


SBR Sports TRISWIM Product link

TRISLIDE

Hands down one of the best products on the market for not only getting into that tight fitting, difficult wetsuit, but also prevents chafing and blisters.  It’s safe on all fabric types.  Do yourself a favor and always keep a bottle of it in your transition bag.  But be warned!!!!  Your tri-friends will all want to borrow it.


SBR Sports TRISLIDE Product link

FOGGIES

No one likes putting on their swim googles right before a race start and have them fog up on you.  Avoid this issue with Foggies.  These wipes are fantastic.  Individually packaged, defogs, cleans, and you can even reuse them several time if you keep in an air tight pack.


SBR Sports FOGGIES Product link

DERMASPORT

Swimming, Biking, and Running puts a lot of stress on our skin. Dermasport is a 4-step daily skin care product designed to help protect your skin from environmental damages. Helps to strengthen, rejuvenate, and restore balance.


SBR Sports DERMASPORT Product link

SKIN SLICK

As much as TCGa Reapers spend sitting on their bikes, this product will come in handy.  A continuous skin spray lubricate that help reduce chaffing, blistering, is sweat proof, and save for all fabrics including bike short chamois. Also doubles as a lubricant for wetsuits.


SBR Sports SKIN SLICK Product link

CONCLUSION

The entire crew here at TriCoachGeorgia is very excited to be associated with SBR Sports. We hope our connection with them will encourage others to check out all of the products they offer. SBR Sports offers all TCGa athletes & team members a 30% discount on the range of SBR products.

Tifosi Optics Welcomed as Proud New Sponsor of TriCoachGeorgia

Triathletes Earn and Spend

TriCoachGeorgia is composed of a nice cross section of triathletes given their affordable full service coaching model and volunteer youth coaching efforts. They spend a lot of money on gear like most triathletes.

It is well documented that triathletes are by and large wealthy and are notorious for their purchases. However, there is a nice section of triathletes that are working and middle class and get by with whatever they can buy used or on the lower end of the market. Regardless, most triathletes want the best names on their gear at the best prices. They want to look snazzy while they do their jobs in training and racing.

Sometimes there is a gap in the market place that gets recognized. For the longest while, sunglasses were very widely disparate in cost and value. You would either get a name brand or a cheaper no name brand. The triathletes who purchased the higher end models would rave about the quality and those who purchased the lower end would brag about the value. Nobody was really able to establish if either the higher end or the lower end was faster and it was really a moot point.

Along Came Tifosi Optics

Right in the back yard of several of the coaches (Coaches Slayer, BigBad, TaxSlayer, and LongMan) and many of the athletes on the team in the Athens, Ga – area of Georgia, Tifosi Optics began in 2003 in Watkinsville, GA with the goal of creating an eyewear brand for cycling, running, golf or any outdoor activity.  They created a brand that provides high quality, style and functionality.  They did all of that and at an exceptional value for their customers. Finally, someone had married value, style, and quality!

Thir offerings initially were modest and affordable but now they have a huge selection of lens, frames, styles, sizes, etc. while maintaining the controlled price points. Tifosi’s top end newer models were brilliant and allowed multiple permutations of the same set of frames and glasses for no more than the lowest end of the major manufacturers. They soon took over a huge market share of the triathletes, cyclists, and runners sunglasses purchases because of the value, quality, sharp colors and styles, and name recognition.

TriCoachGeorgia and TriKidsGeorgia a Natural Affiliate for Tifosi

Tri Coach Georgia and their free youth coached team, TriKidsGeorgia, had the opportunity to become one of the few sponsored Tifosi team several months ago and jumped at the opportunity to affiliate with one of the leading eyewear manufacturers. Many of the team’s athletes and coaches have chosen to wear Tifosi at their races and while out training. Tifosi even recognized Coach Slayer for wearing the new Pro Escalate Frame SFH when he qualified for Ironman Kona World Championships in 2016 at Ironman Maryland in 2015.

Conclusions

Like when you purchase Tifosi sunglasses, joining the Reapers via the coached or team member option, you can’t go wrong with high quality at a good price point. Indeed, all TriCoachGeorgia team members, coached athletes, and coaches get exceptional pricing on a wide variety of sunglasses, lenses and parts.

The entire team is very excited to show support for Tifosi Optics as they cross the finish lines across the United States in 2016 and beyond. Check out these fine sunglasses in your local shops or online and see how nice they truly are.

Coach Slayer Pushes Past Injury to Qualify for Kona – Featured Article in Oconee Magazine Winter 2016 – TriCoachGeorgia

Coach Slayer: Kona Qualifier When He Least Expected It

Introduction

Ironman triathlon is a tough game to win even with the best of support. You always face hurdles and limiters be they time demands, swim form, mechanical foul ups, injuries, and/or fatigue.

Some hurdles and limiters are harder to overcome than others and some pile up on you. In my case, apart from obesity, the armadillo who started my wreck was the biggest problem I ever had to overcome in my triathlon career.

However, I have to admit, going into Ironman Maryland 2015, I had given up the dream of ever qualifying for the World Championships at the Ironman distance. Even though I had made it to the Half Ironman World Championship in 2014 in Mont Tremblant, Canada, I knew that you could fool a Half Ironman. What I mean by fooling it, I meant that you could develop your fitness such that you could still have a good day even with mistakes.

Ironman is No Joke

Ironman, on the other hand, could not be fooled. No amount of fitness could help guarantee a good day. With my middling swim and stronger bike and, oftentimes, bumbled run, everything needed to come together on the day for me to even get a whiff of qualifying. After several failed attempts and then a major injury six months out of the race, that Kona qualifying dream died for good. There was absolutely zero chance that I would ever sniff the big island air in Hawaii.

Moreover, there is a certain amount of luck involved when racing that long of a distance. Sometimes, based on your training times and practice efforts, you think you are ready to knock it out of the park and you strike out. Other times, which are much more rarer for the vast majority, you are afraid you will strike out and you knock it out of the park.

Great Local Writer Pens a Feature Magazine Article

Here, Ryne Dennis, wonderful Sports Journalist and endurance athlete in the making, of the Oconee Enterprise, interviewed me and found the theme of not quitting and overcoming obstacles along the way to my big day.

He took my story of qualifying and highlighted the many years of toiling and hard work, my never ending fight to overcome obstacles, the support of many, and the luck of the day. When I could have quit, I didn’t and his article shows that we have to struggle to keep dreams alive because you never know what might happen if you quit. I hope this will inspire you to continue your fight, whatever it may be.

Conclusion

Read this article, #DoYourJob, and you too may #ReapWhatYouSow! Thanks to everyone who helped along this long journey to the promised land. Coach BigBad Ryan Wolfe of TriCoachGeorgia said in jest that I can now die a happy man. In many ways, he is absolutely correct. Not just because of my Kona Qualifying effort, but for the sum of everything and everybody I am a part of.

ORR Carbon Wheels Welcomed as Proud New Sponsor of TriCoachGeorgia

Introduction

At TriCoachGeorgia (TCGA), the team is proud to affiliate with high quality local, regional, and national brands. TCGA was familiar with ORR Carbon Wheels and their managing owner, Jason Williamson, as they both sponsored the Georgia Triathlon Series of Go Race Productions. At the end of the 2015 racing season, Williamson reached out to the TriCoachGeorgia Coaching staff to form a partnership that will benefit all team members and coached athletes with a huge discount on ORR Wheels and will benefit ORR Wheels with great exposure. Not to mention, many of the team of misfits already sported these wheels.

Going to the Big Island

Coaches Slayer and TAZ are already on record that they will be using ORR wheels as their weapons of choice in Ironman World Championships in KONA 2016.  Williamson says he rarely has seen anyone more passionate about the sport than the Reapers of TriCoachGeorgia and was kind enough to discuss some of his firm’s history, products, and answer some questions about his high quality carbon wheels without the high price tags of competitors like Zipp, ENVE, Hed, Reynolds, Profile Design etc. The firm’s motto is “Exceptional Speed For Everyday Riders”.

Cost Savings without Substantial Speed Differential

Williamson grants that the big names make great products but stresses the cost of $2.5k-$4k plus compared to ORR’s at $1500 and below. There is not a marked difference for most riders in the wheels reported. ORR Wheels are committed to offer wheels that durable enough for everyday use, affordable, and fast enough to take bike splits to the next level. They don’t pretend to be something they are not. They stand behind their products and have recently had them aero wind tunnel tested in Arizona. This data was favorable and will be released soon!

Some Additional Information

Not a firm to stand still in one place, they are currently working on a few new wheels for 2016 and beyond. First, they have a newly designed disc wheel, which will be stronger, wider and lighter than their previous disc. Next, they are looking at disc break options for road wheels/cyclocross and, even, mountain bike wheels.
Lastly, they are working on a shallower depth. A 36mm rim option that we hope to offer with the disc brake option as well as the standard road hub. This combined with their 6.4 (60mm), 7.4 (60/80mm) and 8.4’s (80mm) should round out their lineup of carbon clincher wheels. With wider rims, better air foil designs and their biggest improvement, the new extreme high Tg (melting point) resin, they beliuved they have covered all possibilities including wheels for a triathlon, road, or mountain bike.

Final Notes

The current team members and coached athletes of TriCoachGeorgia and TriKidsGeorgia can receive up to $500 off the retail prices on a set of ORR’s. Just ask Coach Slayer or TAZ for the discount code to use at checkout on ORRCYCLING.COM, call them direct at 864-276-6797 or come by their booth at one of the many Ironman Village Expos.

Tentative 2016 race schedule: